Open Thread and Kissinger’s Un-Realism



I’m at a conference at the College of William & Mary but am also having a serious dental problem with a tooth fractured ten years ago — and need to deal with that. The thread is open. But seriously, Kissinger advising Bush and Cheney on Iraq? Victory is the only exit? Kissinger’s realism has seriously withered. Even James Baker, who is an annointed spear-carrier for both G.H.W. Bush and G.W. Bush would never make such a statement — particularly privately…

Princeton Project on National Security



(Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School Dean Anne-Marie Slaughter) More than 400 academics, policy practitioners and journalists over two and a half years have contributed to a large-scale project, the Princeton Project on National Security. The project was co-chaired by former Secretary of State George Shultz and former National Security Advisor Anthony Lake. Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs Dean Anne-Marie Slaughter and Woodrow Wilson School Professor G. John Ikenberry co-directed the effort. David Rubenstein of the Carlyle Group…

BIG NEWS: John Bolton Confirmation Battle Really, Really Dead



The last pre-election loophole through which John Bolton’s confirmation might have snuck through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was at 2:15 this afternoon at a previously called “business meeting” of the Committee. That meeting has been cancelled — and with it even the dimmest chance of John Bolton being confirmed as US Ambassador to the United Nations. Some have said that another effort could be mounted during a lame duck session of Congress, but there are several Republicans who will…

Chafee Finds His Groove: Emerging as a Republican “John Breaux”



This has been a tough week. A prominent conservative pol knocked me around a bit in some private communications and caused some real stress because of the view by his staff memer that I am a “firebrand” — a really good one in his view. And on the left, a prominent pol went “nuts” on me in an email because of positive commentary on the blog about Lincoln Chafee, John McCain, and ironically — Bill Frist. This individual somehow thinks…

John McCain on John Bolton: Brownie Points for Cheerleading



AP reports today that John McCain is calling for “quick confirmation” of John Bolton. Senator McCain seems to be doing something that I regretfully admit that I have done on some occasions. With a tail between my legs, I will admit that I too have invited people to dinner knowing they couldn’t make it — but happy to get credits in place for doing so. It’s not smart to do this often, but Senator McCain knows that even if the…

Bill Clinton Spanks Fox News Hard for Political Bias and Trying to Mug Him



(photo from Crooks and Liars) After the Clinton Global Initiative had ended and in the hours that followed, I was doing some writing and organizing of notes in the CGI press room where Fox News’ Chris Wallace was also hanging around — looking pensive, waiting for what I didn’t know then was an attempted mugging of President Bill Clinton. Fox News had secured the exclusive interview with Clinton to talk with him about how the $7.3 billion that the CGI…

The Latest on John Bolton Battle: Bolton Could be Appointed Deputy and then Made “Acting Ambassador” with Pay Cut



(Lincoln Chafee with former President George H.W. Bush and his late father, Senator John Chafee) So far, there has been no sign that the Bush administration’s considerable efforts to get Ambassador John Bolton confirmed are yielding any success in changing the environment currently blocking him. But the White House has considered a shocking plan to keep the Ambassador in his position at the UN that may not involve a second recess appointment to his current position — which would mean…

John Bolton: Administration Attempting to Deal with Lincoln Chafee



Yesterday, the Department of State sent a high level emissary to see if any deal-making could be done with Senator Lincoln Chafee regarding his opposition to John Bolton. President Bush’s speech yesterday at the UN seemed nearly a tailor-made response that the White House might begin to take seriously a new round of credible diplomacy in the Middle East. On Palestine/Israel, Bush stated: The world must also stand up for peace in the Holy Land. I’m committed to two democratic…

Open Thread: Nashville and Birmingham Foreign Policy Gatherings



Greetings folks. I’ve been giving talks in Nashville, Tennessee (yesterday) and Birmingham, Alabama today — primarily for the respective Committees on Foreign Relations in these cities. More later on that — have to run. But will be back with the latest on John Bolton, the President’s speech at the UN General Assembly, gaming with Iran, and the resurgence of interest in the Palestine/Israel two-state process. — Steve Clemons